Bella & Beau 2018: The Nest Platform is Still Home Base
(Osprey nest location: Cambridge, Maryland, USA)
August 12, 2018
Bella & Beau’s two OspreyTeens have been another week ‘on the wing’, mastering their flight maneuvers, water skimming and lift-outs, and disappearing for long periods of time, most likely out exploring the open waters of the Choptank River and Chesapeake Bay, observing and learning this wide-open new world to them.
OspreyTeen (chick) in flight.
I’ve even seen the OspreyTeens practicing by chasing each other. Practice makes perfect!
The OspreyTeens are also probably getting fishing lessons from Bella & Beau, who still stay nearby and follow their wandering chicks.
Bella perched close by the nest platform, keeping an eye on the OspreyTeens.
To date, I have not seen an OspreyTeen return to the nest platform or a nearby perch with a fish. Both Bella & Beau are still delivering fish to the nest platform, usually to find one if not both OspreyTeens waiting.
Bella bringing in the early morning breakfast to two hungry chicks.
Both OspreyTeens patiently wait to see who is fed first as Bella lands on the perch.
Even in this past week’s heavy rain, the OspreyTeens waited for food at home base.
OspreyTeens waiting for a parent to bring them food in the heavy rain.
Protecting the OspreyTeens, nest platform, and their surrounding territory has never ceased for Bella and Beau. Although not mentioned much in the most recent posts, there has still been constant chases and attacks on intruders who enter the nest platform territory.
Bella & Beau’s list still includes other Osprey….
Bella chasing another Osprey who flew too close to the nest platform.
Beau in pursuit of a Bald Eagle passing through the area.
and Great Blue Herons.
Bella chasing and attacking a Great Blue Heron.
Another day, another Bella attack on a Great Blue Heron. This is just 4 of 27 swoop attacks I photographed. This ‘attack’ lasted seven minutes before the Great Blue Heron gave up his perch and flew away.
A Great Blue Heron quite agitated by Bella’s attack.
I’ve even noticed recently that warning calls are sent out to Vultures that pass over, which is unusual.
The OspreyTeens are still practicing the need to protect themselves as well, but I’m still seeing only gull chases.
The OspreyTeens do keep their eye on overhead Osprey and the Great Blue Herons and Cormorants below them but leave that scare attack to Bella & Beau for now.
Bella alarming at overhead Vultures but doesn’t pursue a chase.
If an OspreyTeen belly isn’t hungry, the nest platform sits empty most of the time now. On occasion Bella herself will perch on the home she established, enjoying the quiet solitude.
Bella “home alone”.
September is quickly nearing, which means Bella, Beau, and the OspreyTeens will soon get their instinct to fly south, each alone, as far as Central or South America for the winter.
I’ll discuss more in detail about this upcoming migration in my next Bella & Beau series post.
In the meantime, let’s hope the OspreyTeens master their fishing skills!
(For all the posts on Bella & Beau’s 2018 season, you can click HERE.)